Entry into UK for Australians: You can now use the e-passport gates to enter Britain

Travellers touching down in the United Kingdom will spend less time waiting in immigration queues with the introduction of electronic passport gates for Australians.

The British High Commission on Monday confirmed the self-use terminals are operational for visitors with a chipped passport.

"I'm delighted that Australian nationals will benefit from their use and have a smooth beginning to their visit to our country," Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement.

In 2017 about 1.4 million Australian passports were processed at UK ports. 

Australians can enter the UK as tourists for up to six months without requiring a visa.

Travellers aged 12 to 18 must be accompanied by an adult to use the electronic gates and those aged less than 11 will still need to speak with an immigration officer.

"The UK is already a world leader in automated passenger clearance, allowing more nationalities to use ePassport gates than anywhere else," Monday's statement read.

Australians have one of the world's most powerful passports, based on the number of countries Australian citizens are able to enter without requiring a visa. 

Australians can enter 181 countries without a visa, according to the Henley & Partners' Passport Index. 

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Australia has lost ground in the rankings in 2019, dropping from 183 countries to 181. It came equal 10th in the rankings, along with New Zealand and Iceland, behind 24 other countries.

Turkey's introduction of e-visas in October was one factor affecting the rankings, with citizens of more than 100 countries, including Australia, now required to apply for a visa before travelling there. Previously a visa was available upon arrival.

The Ukraine suspended visas-on-arrival on January 1. Australians are now required to apply for an e-visa to enter the country.

AAP 

See also: The world's most powerful passports named

See also: The actual number of Australians with a passport will surprise you

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